Any type of work on a New York construction site can get dangerous, especially when construction workers do not have adequate safety protection or in situations where construction site employers have been negligent. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), struck-by injuries are responsible for more than 11% of all construction accident deaths and are part of the dangerous “fatal four.” OSHA identifies four frequent types of struck-by hazards, which include accidents in which a construction worker is struck by a falling object (such as tools on scaffolding), a flying object (such as debris), a swinging object (such as an object being transported by a crane), and rolling objects (such as construction-site machinery).
Over half of all struck-by injuries that result in death are caused by heavy equipment, such as trucks, tractors, rail cars, loading vehicles, and cranes. Construction workers may also be struck by flying objects that have been shot, thrown, sprayed, or otherwise propelled across their path. Many accidents are also caused by swinging objects, such as cranes, and any material that is loaded and lifted by construction equipment has a potential to swing through the air and strike a worker.
After a struck-by construction accident, how can you seek financial compensation for your losses? Depending upon the reason for your injury, it may be possible to file a workers’ compensation claim and to file a construction accident lawsuit in order to seek compensation for your injuries.
You Likely Will be Able to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim to Obtain Compensation for Medical Bills and Lost Wages
The New York workers’ compensation system, like workers’ compensation in other states, is a no-fault system. Accordingly, it does not matter if you were at fault for your own construction accident struck-by injury, if your employer or another co-worker was at fault, or if you simply do not know who was at fault for the accident in which you suffered injuries. Regardless of fault, workers’ compensation benefits can cover certain medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.
However, to remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to make sure to file your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner. New York law requires an injured construction worker to provide notice to his or her employer about the injury within 30 days from the date of the original injury. If an injured worker does not provide timely notification to the employer.
You May be Eligible to File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer Under New York Labor Law
Did your employer’s negligence cause your construction site struck-by injury? If so, and if you sustained a “grave injury”, your employer may be sued as a third-party by any of the defendants to your lawsuit, including a contractor or construction site owner, under New York Labor Law.
New York is distinct in that it permits injured construction workers to sue for negligence even if they are seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Usually, workers’ compensation is an “exclusive remedy,” which means an employee cannot file a lawsuit against a negligent party in a separate lawsuit. However, New York lawmakers recognize the serious injury risks at construction sites and decided to permit injured construction workers to potential add to their recovery by way of the employer sharing in liability with the first-party defendants.
An employer may be brought into a work injury lawsuit if the employee suffered one or more of the following:
Total and permanent blindness
Total and permanent deafness
Loss of a nose
Loss of an ear
Permanent and severe facial disfigurement
Loss of an index finger
Loss of multiple fingers
Loss of multiple toes
Permanent and total loss of use (including amputation) of an arm, leg, hand or foot
Paraplegia or quadriplegia
Injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in permanent total disability
Depending upon the nature of your struck-by injury and how it occurred, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit under Section 200 or Section 241 of New York Labor law.
Get in Touch with a New York Construction Accident Attorney
One of the experienced New York construction accident attorneys at our firm can assess your case today and help you to move forward with a lawsuit if you are eligible. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today to talk with a construction accident lawyer about your case.